Sleep Deprivation

September 30, 2010

How much sleep is enough sleep?  Requirements vary between individuals, however general guidelines are: -  Infants need about 16 hours a day -  Teenagers need about 9 hours on average per day -  Adults need 7 to 8 hours per day, keep in mind that individual requirements for adults have a wider variance than any other age Busy schedules, stress and medical issues can interfere with your sleep schedule.  Four common problems that arise from lack of needed sleep are depression, memory loss, weakened immune system, and a lower tolerance for pain. Now, recent research indicates that the impact of sleep deprivation is greater than previously acknowledged with far-reaching effects on our bodies. This new study restricted a group of young men to four hours of sleep for six consecutive nights. After the sixth night,  researchers found levels of glucose spiked for the study participants while production of insulin, the hormone that removes sugar from the blood became sluggish. The effect was so pronounced that the young men’s blood sugar levels rose to between normal and diabetic!  Fortunately, blood sugar levels returned to normal after the individuals' customary sleep patterns were restored, but long-term results remain unknown. This is definitely another reason to be sure to get your Z's!

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